Jon Huntsman To Enter Presidential Race Next Week
Former Utah Governor and Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman will be formally entering the race for President next Tuesday:
Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman will join the race for president next Tuesday.
“I intend to announce that I will be a candidate for the presidency a week from today,” Huntsman told an audience gathered for a China policy discussion with former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger on Tuesday afternoon in New York City.
Sources familiar with the plans told POLITICO Tuesday morning that Huntsman will announce at Liberty State Park in New Jersey, with the Statue of Liberty in the background. The park is the same site where Ronald Reagan formally kicked off his 1980 general election campaign.
Huntsman said that his time viewing the country from the outside while serving as U.S. ambassador to China helped convince him to run.
“As we have a very weak economic core, we are less able to project the goodness and the power and the might of the United States. We sit diminished and discounted at the negotiating table and everybody knows that,” Huntsman said. “We probably have a little bit of work here in our own backyard.”
Huntsman will follow the announcement with a tour of early states. From New Jersey, he’ll head to New Hampshire, South Carolina, Florida and Nevada before ending the week in Utah.
The announcement is not a surprise: Huntsman has been offering strong hints at a bid over the past two weeks, and has been campaigning in early states and aggressively courting donors over the past six weeks
But the former ambassador to China skipped Monday night’s presidential debate in New Hampshire, even though the first-in-the-nation primary state will likely be central to Huntsman’s bid.
Huntsman’s entry helps further solidify the Republican field, and adds a moderate voice who supported civil unions as governor and spent two years in China working for Barack Obama, the man he now hopes to run against.
Huntsman seems to be the favorite candidate of a lot of political pundits, or at least the guy they’re most convinced can become a force in the race. Maybe, but I’m not at all convinced that Huntsman is going to be able to break through his almost zero name recognition. Honestly, he strikes me more as a guy setting himself up for the Vice-Presidency or 2016. Stranger things have happened, though, so be prepared to get to know Jon Huntsman.